23 January 2019

Kenya: Tusker Eye Third Place As KCB Face Stima Test

Tusker will Wednesday afternoon host Chemelil Sugar at the Ruaraka grounds knowing a win will lift them to third place in the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) standings.

The match, one of the five lined up for Wednesday in the top flight, will see Robert Matano's brewers come head-to-head with former Tusker assistant coach Francis Baraza - now in charge at Chemelil.

Tusker played out to a goalless draw away to Ulinzi Stars last Sunday to move into fourth place on 14 points, six behind leaders Mathare United but Matano has asked his charged not to rest on their laurels.

The veteran coach attributed the recent drop of points to a number of injuries within his camp. Winger Boniface Muchiri, diminutive midfielder Mike Madoya and defender Eric Ambunya are some of the players who resumed training last week from injury.

"We need the three points," said Matano. "The progress is okay football is a game of moments, we've to utilise our chances," added the former Sofapaka and AFC Leopards coach whose side are winless in two matches.

The two sides have met 20 times previously with the brewers winning on 10 occasions, Chemelil thrice while seven games have ended in a draw.

The millers won 2-0 in last season's first leg in February before losing in a similar margin in the return leg in August.

In other matches, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) face a stern test away to third-placed Western Stima in Kisumu.

The bankers coach Frank Ouna is confident of upsetting the hosts under the expected hot temperatures in the lakeside city.

"The positive thing is that I have players who are ready to work for over 90 minutes because I know we've to press hard against Stima," noted Ouna, whose side battled to a 1-1 draw against Vihiga United in the last outing.

KCB head into this game with two wins against Stima's 10 in the previous 17 meetings where five have ended level.

Cash-strapped Vihiga United host Nzoia Sugar in a western derby at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega.

Vihiga coach Mike Mururi has decried the low motivation in camp owing to lack of finance that delayed their departure to Machakos last weekend.

Nzoia, who held Western Stima to a 2-2 draw last Sunday, have two wins in four matches against the Vihiga-based outfit who've beaten the sugar millers once.

Returning coach Medo Melis will hope to start on a winning note when bottom-placed Mount Kenya United host four-time champions Ulinzi Stars at Kasarani Stadium.

FIXTURES (All matches kickoff at 3pm)

Posta Rangers v Sofapaka (Kenyatta stadium, Machakos)

Tusker v Chemelil Sugar (Ruaraka grounds)

Mount Kenya United v Ulinzi Stars (MISC, Kasarani)

Western Stima v KCB (Moi stadium, Kisumu)

Vihiga United v Nzoia Sugar (Bukhungu Stadium)

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